THE VARSITY NEWS
Student president resigns amid dispute Vol. 95, Issue 4
BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR
UDM has no student-government president – and may not get one until January. Michael Soviak, who was elected last winter after running on promises to revamp, revise and enliven student government, resigned in midOctober. He said school officials nudged him toward that decision by threatening to remove or demote him if he did not improve his performance. According to Soviak, his action followed a Sept. 18 meeting with Student Government As-
The student newspaper of the University of Detroit Mercy
sociation administrators Drew Peters and Dorothy Stewart to address his performance as president. Neither Peters nor Soviak would not go into detail about the reasons for the warning. But Peters, assistant director of student life, confirmed that Soviak resigned on his own. “It’s unfortunate,” Peters said. “But that’s where we are. We’re in the process of figuring it all out.” Soviak was given notice that he needed to start better fulfilling the duties of SGA president. One SGA student official, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said one of the
complaints hinged on Soviak’s absence from the Student Organization Fair on Sept. 13. Soviak confirmed this, and said he explained his absence to Peters and Stewart, but that they remained adamant that Soviak was not performing up to standards. He felt their judgment was unfair. “I thought there was undue stress put on me,” he said. “I felt that I wasn’t put in a position to succeed.” Soviak said his executive board fell apart over the summer due to resignations. Because of this, he was unable to do most of what was expected of him, he said.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
So, before the moderators could demote or remove him, Soviak resigned, he said. “I was very upset,” Soviak said, “but I handled myself professionally… I resigned so that they wouldn’t have to do what they planned to do.” Still, Soviak is appealing the warning he received, saying it was unjust. He was to meet this week with Dean of Students Monica Williams, who did not return calls from The VN. Soviak said that he’d only consider returning to the position if there is a chance for change,
Profs, UDM reach deal on contract
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BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR
Professor’s documentary puts spotlight on Navin volunteers BY JOE OSTER VN SPECIAL WRITER
Jason Roche wasn’t always a Detroit Tigers fan. While growing up in Auburn, NY, he flip-flopped between the Reds, the Pirates and, eventually, the Mets. Not until coming to the University of Detroit Mercy in 2009 was Roche introduced to the culture and history of the Tigers. “I knew absolutely nothing historically of the Tigers when I first got here,” Roche said. “I had never heard of Hank Greenberg!” CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Prof. Jason Roche directed “Stealing Home.”
After nearly a year of negotiations, UDM’s administration and professors union have reached a tentative contract, pending some fine-tuning and a formal vote of union members. The agreement calls for no salary increase in year one, a 1.45 percent increase in year two and a 2.5 percent increase in year three. The professors will receive an 8 percent retirement contribution in years one and two and a 9 percent contribution in year three – down from 10 percent in the current contract. Representatives from both sides met late into the evening Oct. 24 in an effort to reach an agreement before midnight, when the deadline instituted by the administration would have taken affect, allowing the university to unilaterally modify or terminate the contract. “It appeared negotiations were headed for an impasse,” said union president Prasad Venugopal. However, when the two sides began to discuss a possible three-year, rather than five-year, contract, the outlook improved. University spokesman Gary Lichtman said, “The university is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement pending ratification with union membership.” The contract will be put to a vote of union membership later this semester. “We are hopeful that the majority of our members will view this as fair and acceptable contract,” Venugopal said.
‘This Is How It Goes’ provokes racism discussion
Each performance of theatre company’s latest production will be followed by an open conversation BY ANNIE MENDOZA VN STAFF WRITER
The UDM Theatre Company continues to focus on social issues with its latest production, “This Is How It Goes,” written by Neil LaBute. “This Is How It Goes” is a modern-day play that portrays an interracial couple who break most stereotypes, yet are continuously subjected to
racial biases. Prof. Greg Grobis, the company’s managing director, is directing the play, which premieres Nov. 15 at Marygrove College. “Being a Jesuit (and Mercy) school, we need to be offering shows that cover issues in our communities,” Grobis said. The basic theme for this year’s performances is to confront social-justice topics that
aim to affect the audience in a way beyond entertainment. “The whole point of doing theater here at UDM is not to strictly entertain our students and patrons,” Grobis said. “It is to inspire conversations around thought-provoking work.” Those in attendance will be subject to a harsh awakening, as the play deals with difficult topics such as racism, violence,
explicit language and adult content. “We’re tackling an issue that’s kind of a taboo topic. People don’t talk about the racism in our culture,” Grobis said. The play is already provoking conversation on campus. Freshman biology major Younis Mohamed said that confrontation can be important when trying to get a point
across. “You have to be realistic as possible if you’re trying to make a point,” Mohamed said. “You’d have to portray it how it would play out in the real world.” The company is hoping to spark discussion on campus and around the community with this performance. “Using a race card is an
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NOV. 6, 2013
Cemetery lesson: Don’t taunt the dead
Fear is strange. Last year I took a class that morphed me into a horror-movie buff. After spending 15 weeks in class analyzing the psychological effects some directors and writers deploy to make their films truly scary and sometimes disturbing, I discovered that most horror movies became more frustrating than frightening. I made myself sit through many gory horror films over the past year, though, and despite some being significantly better than others, I found it increasingly difficult to become truly frightened by anything. Most of the time, I laughed. I laughed when I correctly guessed a scare was coming; I laughed when characters died horribly and almost unexpectedly; I laughed when villains and monsters brought along their share of blood and guts. And I was always able to fall asleep at night – nothing stuck with me. What I’ll call a high fright tolerance inevitably bled into actual life events, and I began to dissect and apply theories to scares that came outside of the movie screen. This attitude towards fright-inducing phenomena was obviously piqued during the Halloween season, but it almost ruined a haunted house for me this year. After waiting in line for 45 minutes in Armada, Mich., I entered the haunted house with my sister and her friend ready to scream a masculine scream and be scared out of my mind. But, again, in the rooms sprayed with blood and littered with props of arms and legs strewn about the floor, I could only laugh; it was a shaky laugh, but certainly not the right reaction to what was definitely supposed to scare me. I thought I was ruined, that I couldn’t truly enjoy something I loved anymore. A few weeks later, when I found myself in an old graveyard on a dark, rainy Saturday in search of a tombstone from 1866, I breathed a sigh of relief when I felt fear creep into my chest accompanied by a feeling like centipedes on the back of my neck. Ghost stories never failed to scare me. Films like “Paranormal Activity,” “Insidious,” “The Exorcist,” “Evil Dead” and, most recently, “The Conjuring” all scare me in a dozen ways that films like “Hostel” and most zombie flicks can’t, because, to put it simply, they take the familiar – a home, a cabin, a family member – and make them unfamiliar. So, with the fear of ethereal manifestations ringing in the back of my head, I entered an ancient cemetery in Inkster, Mich., with three others to look for Mary Jane Walker’s tombstone. It was a small-but-full graveyard, and we were dressed as turtles. Even though I love a good ghost story, I can’t say that I truly believe in entities and demons and things after my soul. I do believe that Mary Jane Walker hid her grave stone from us because I taunted her. My friends and I were in the cemetery to earn points in a scavenger hunt, and the legend surrounding Mary Jane’s gravesite is that the 9-year-old girl’s ghost will appear in the photos you snap of her gravestone if you ask her to. I stomped around the graveyard, respectfully taunting Mary Jane, asking her to come out and show us where her marker was. After nearly an hour of searching every corner of the yard, we gave up and moved on. We assumed the tombstone had been moved or never existed in the first place. When we got back to the rest of the competitors, I immediately asked everyone if they’d found Mary Jane’s grave – every group had found it. Moreover, the gravestone was in a section of the yard that both I and the rest of my teammates had actually focused on. If it was there, there’s hardly a chance that we could have missed it, so I did a bit of research. There are dozens of accounts of voices and apparitions in the cemetery, and apparently the cemetery is one of the most active spots in Michigan for ghost encounters. I didn’t know this before I entered the graveyard – before I taunted Mary Jane. Needless to say, the feeling of fear that I’d sought in movies grabbed a hold of me in reality, as I was (and still am) suspicious that I’d been pranked by a ghost. I’m just glad she was a nice ghost.
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Cannon aims for U.S. House seat Retired Gen. Jerry Cannon (left), a University of Detroit graduate, served in Iraq and Cuba.
BY TOMMY ZIMMER VN NEWS EDITOR
Jerry Cannon was a night student when he began at the University of Detroit. He had graduated from a Catholic high school, and saw it as logical to continue his education at U of D. “It was very accommodating and very relevant,” Cannon said. So he pursued a degree in criminal justice, and it led to a job at the River Rouge Police Department. Cannon had no idea his education and first position would start him on the road to elected public service – or lead him, as he is doing now, to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Cannon has garnered substantial national attention in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, who represents the 1st District, which includes most of northern Michigan. If Cannon gets elected, he will become the latest in a string of alums to serve in Congress. (Gary Peters currently represents Michigan’s 9th District and Vern Buchanan represents Florida’s 16th District.) As a police officer, Cannon hoped to move up the ranks in the Detroit area by gaining command experience in northern Michigan, so he moved to Kalkaska. “My wife’s family is from there originally, and we would come up here to vacation and spend time together,” Cannon said. Born in Del Ray near Zug Island, Cannon planned to gain experience and come back to Detroit. But once he got up north, he found he
Alums in politics
The first in a series about UDM grads making news in elected public service liked it and decided to raise his family there. “My kids constantly remind me of their being raised in northern Michigan,” he said. “We didn’t make a lot of money but we had fun.” Cannon started as a detective. “They created a thing called regional detective to assume that position and overtime the federal money dried up where the county absorbed it,” Cannon said. At that point, he began working for the county. When he entered into the sheriff’s department as a detective sergeant, it was going through changes. His boss, he said, was leaving to create a criminal justice program at Northwestern, and Cannon got appointed as sheriff to finish out his term after serving as undersheriff. In the fall of 1987, he ran for election and won. His tenure would span 18 years. Military service has also played an important role in Cannon’s life. After high school, he enlisted in the Marines. When his best buddy had joined about a year before, Cannon had decided he needed to see the world and get away from his little Downriver neighborhood.
Twenty months later, he was in Vietnam. Later, he enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard, and near the end of his time as sheriff was deployed to Cuba to serve at Guantanamo. Several times, he saw deployment to Iraq, earning a promotion to major general. Now, in his sixties, he is running for Congress as a Democrat. Many of his advisors and mentors, he said, had been asking him for a while to run for some kind of office but he said he always considered himself a “local” guy. He said he preferred working from behind the scenes rather than in an office. His alma mater’s philosophy of commitment to public service pushed him to get back in the arena of politics, he said. “U of D taught me we have a responsibility to serve our community to make things better, and if you are fortunate with a leadership opportunity, this is a great chance,” Cannon said. He said he saw what was going on in Washington, D.C., and he thought he could bring more guidance but he had to talk his family into it. “I had told them I was done when I retired with public service but my sons predicted it would not be too long before I did something else,” Cannon said. He said he wants to focus on what the House of Representatives should embody. “My focus has always been about protecting the environment, public education and a struggling economy while making sure I hold my district first, my state second and my country third,” Cannon said.
This club explodes into the weekend
BY ERIN STEIN VN STAFF WRITER
Have you ever walked across campus on a Friday and noticed anything out of the ordinary? If you take a good look around, you will notice that the school of chemistry does experiments every Friday. These Friday combustions are all experiments on the variation of the thermite reaction. With help from the web, a
thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of metal powder fuel and metal oxide; when thermite is ignited by heat, it undergoes a reaction, mainly brief bursts of high temperatures, otherwise known as explosions. This thermite demo crew was started just for fun. A group of people who loved experimenting with chemistry gave birth to this explosive idea. Now the thermite team
works with local fire departments and teacher organizations. You don’t have to be chemistry major or even in science classes to be involved in these demos. If you are interested in discovering more about the makeup of this world (or are a secret pyro), you can join. Mark Benvenuto, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry, is excited that people are taking notice of these
experiments. He was even kind enough to share the equation for the reaction with The VN: Fe2O3(s) + Al(s) —> Al2O3(s) + Fe(l) He wanted to stress that the iron made is molten iron so it’s extremely hot. If you want to warm up your Friday afternoon, stop by and watch the explosions by the Chemistry Building. The next explosion will be happening this Friday, Nov. 8.
CO-EDITORS-IN-CHIEF: Ian Thibodeau and Curtis Pulliam
NEWS EDITOR: Tommy Zimmer FEATURES EDITOR: Maggie Jackson STAFF MEMBERS: Colin Bennett, Vito Chirco, Kamara Fant, Angeles Gavia, Annie Mendoza, Joe MacLean, Anthony Shepherd, Erin Stein, Jack Walsworth, Nick Yim and Paige Zmudczynski. Faculty Adviser Tom Stanton
FOUNDED IN 1918, THE VARSITY NEWS IS THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MERCY.
NOV. 6, 2013
THE VARSITY NEWS
I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write this column, but here I am, typing and crying and writing it. We have all had teachers who have made a great impact on our lives. For me, my high school journalism teacher, Mr. Nardone, was one of them. He was not only a teacher, but a mentor who guided me through some of the toughest times in my life. Before I entered high school, I had a plan: Become a successful lawyer, get married, have two to four kids and reside in my palatial Grosse Pointe residence. That was eighth-grade Maggie. The first day of freshman year was, well, the first day of freshman year. I was now on the bottom of the totem pole at Grosse Pointe South and I wasn’t feeling it. When I walked into my freshman English class, I somehow knew that that room would become my safe haven for the next four years. Mr. Nardone was not like other teachers. He was a big kid who happened to have a journalism and teaching degree. If you pulled something on him, he would give it right back to you. English has always been one of my strongest classes, but what I received on my first paper shocked me. On the bottom, Mr. Nardone wrote, “You’re a really great writer. Have you ever considered journalism…?” I had considered journalism as a possible career choice, but never really took it seriously until then. I soon came to find out that Mr. Nardone did not like teaching freshman English (he confided this to me a few years later), because he was so busy advising the school paper, The Tower. If you were on Tower, you were lucky. I don’t know how many awards The Tower has won, but ever since Mr. Nardone started advising it, it became one of the top high school papers in the country. Mr. Nardone wanted the crème de la crème staff so it was an honor to be considered. After a lot of thought, I decided to give it a try. In order to become a full-time staff member, you had to pay your dues, which came in the form of Mr. Nardone’s Honors Journalism class. He not only taught me a lot about journalism, he also taught me about true dedication and hard work. Whenever I set a goal, he wanted me to reach higher. There were no limits. By junior year, I was a full time staff writer on a staff of more than 60. The Tower room was a mini-newsroom adjacent to Mr. Nardone’s classroom. A few of my close friends were on staff, which made the experience more memorable. Ask any of my fellow VN editors now and they will tell you that I will find any excuse to bring in food or throw a party during layout days. Mr. Nardone started this by making sure we were provided with enough bagels and pizza to keep us going. The day after Halloween, he came in with bags of candy that he had begged off his own children. The week before Christmas break was filled with Secret Santas. On Valentine’s Day, he put candy hearts into every staffer’s mailbox. When needed, little notes of encouragement were also provided. When senior year rolled around, Mr. Nardone helped us with college applications. He was also there to help me through the hardest nine months of my life. When my dad became ill, he noticed that my work was lacking. I don’t like giving all the gory details, which he respected. He said that he was there for me and that he understood if I missed a deadline. For four years, Mr. Nardone was a constant figure in my life and I didn’t want to let him go. After graduation, we kept in contact and I made a few visits back to my alma mater where he would listen to everything that was going on: a struggle with a professor, an exciting internship opportunity, my various adventures while abroad and my hopes for the future. He listened and gave advice when needed. Some of the things that he said to me, I will carry forever. The past few years, Mr. Nardone was not doing well health-wise. He missed a few classes my senior year, but the year after his health grew worse. I later learned that he had cancer, which soon went into remission. I last saw Mr. Nardone in May when my good friend, Nanette, and I decided to go back to South and see some of our favorite teachers. We were running on college time and we could hear him yelling at us from the other end of the hallway telling us we were late. It was all good; we brought him gourmet chocolate chip cookies and glutenfree brownie bars. We talked for over an hour about our latest European travels and he told us how lucky he was. I told him about my work down at the Detroit Free Press and in the PR office at UDM and he told me how proud he was. As we were walking out, I told him that everything I am doing and everything I will do was because of him and his faith in me. Sunday night Nanette called. I knew what was coming, but I didn’t want to hear it. Mr. Nardone passed away about an hour prior and I suddenly felt sick. We talked and cried for a while, something that we both needed to do for the man who was there for us for four years – and beyond. I am still crying. I think I write better when I cry, so hopefully it shows. Mr. Nardone touched my life in so many ways; he touched the lives of every student he had in some way or another. He shared his God-given gifts with us selflessly and they shaped us into the young men and women we are today. I don’t think I could have ever thanked him enough for everything, but this column is for him. A new angel has been welcomed into heaven and everyone up there is extremely lucky to have him.
The beauty of Holden
Campus’ oldest dorm has its believers
BY JACK WALSWORTH VN STAFF WRITER
“Domus amica domus optima” is a Latin phrase meaning “a friendly home is the best home” and while it sounds like something to be found in a poem or song, it’s actually written on one of the dorms on campus. UDM students won’t find it on Shiple Hall or any of the Quads. It is written in stone above the entrance of the oldest dorm: Holden Hall. Constructed in 1946, Holden sits between Reno Hall and the Kassab Mall, making it the closest dorm to the academic buildings. The three floors of Holden can hold up to 140 students. For some, like sophomore Amy Murdock, the decision to live in Holden was simple. “With Holden I get to have my own room,” said Murdock. “It’s really the only opportunity for that on campus. I would move to the Quads in a second if they had oneperson rooms.” For other Holden residents, their decision was influenced by the building’s age and character. “Holden seemed like the luxury option,” said Nick Buzette, a history student. “It’s got that antique feel to it. Holden always seems so peaceful and away from everything. It’s definitely the most Bohemian of the buildings.” Pat Redigan, a sophomore from Dearborn Heights, first got to see Holden up close and personal after a friend gave him a tour last year. The inviting rooms and overall setup impressed Redigan and he quickly realized that it was a place that he could see himself living. It’s a decision that he’s still happy with. “It’s fascinating living in Holden Hall,” said Redigan. “The people who inhabit it come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances. We all have stories to tell.” But, like any other dorm, Holden has its challenges. A simple walk down one of the hallways at any time of day attests to those. “It’s almost like a ghost town at times,” said Buzette. “Sometimes you wouldn’t be able to tell if the rooms were empty or if people actually lived in them. It does-
Holden was “the luxury option,” said one student.
VN PHOTOS BY IAN THIBODEAU
A farewell to a beloved high school teacher, Mr. Nardone
n’t really bother me but, at the same time, it can get boring and lonely when my roommate isn’t around.” Holden falls beneath its maximum occupancy, with some of its rooms empty. Despite Holden’s lack of around-the-clock activity, Redigan and Buzette both prefer it over Shiple. Redigan has been pleased so far by the absence of vandalism and destruction on his floor, something that he said he had to deal with too many times last year. Buzette echoed a similar view. “Shiple isn’t even on the same field as Holden,” said Buzette. “Living in Shiple is like living in the pits, where living in Holden is like living in a four-star Marriott.” UDM renovated Holden this past summer, a fact that both current and previous Holden residents hope will attract more students to its doors. “I try to hype up Holden as much as I can,” said Shelby Maurice, who now lives in Ferndale. “Before I lived there, I didn’t know what the building was. After I moved in, I realized just how beautiful and traditional it was. More people should know about it.” Redigan hopes that, starting next year, more students will be living in Holden and that it can become the hip, quirky and counter-culture place to live on campus.
Navin PAGE 4
NOV. 6, 2013
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(For those who don’t know, Greenberg is an alltime Tigers great and a baseball legend. He spent his playing days at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull at the old Tiger Stadium, when it was known as Navin Field and then Briggs Stadium.) One afternoon, Roche, a communications professor at UDM, was discussing the experience of living in Corktown with a colleague, Karen Gorman. He was inspired when she told him about the grounds of Tiger Stadium and the people who volunteer their own time and money to preserve them. Roche saw this as a story that must be told. The result? “Stealing Home: At The Corner With the Navin Field Grounds Crew,” a documentary written and directed by Roche. It debuted recently at the Detroit Historical Museum before a sellout crowd. The documentary includes interviews with such Tigers greats as Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell and Denny McLain, as well as fans and Detroit natives. The film centers around the Navin Field Grounds Crew, a group of unpaid workers who keep the old field in playable condition just for the sake of doing so. Men, women and children come from all over the state, even the country, to play catch, swing at a few pitches or just take a picture at the field. A few couples have even been married on the field. All of this is done with the looming threat of being ticketed by the Detroit Police for trespassing. But the film isn’t just for baseball fans. It’s as much about historical preservation and longing for the past as it is about baseball, Roche said. He interviews architects, preservationists, authors and religious authorities in order to project the full flavor of the Navin Field movement. “People consider this place to be sacred ground,” Roche said. “It’s a place where people can connect with something greater than themselves.” Roche expects that the film’s premiere is only the beginning. He plans on entering “Stealing Home” in the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Freep Film Festival and possibly a festival in Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He hopes that positive word-of-mouth, as well as its universally appealing themes, will help his film gain momentum. The publicity leading up to the premiere saw Roche appear on page one of the Detroit Free Press, as well as on Mitch Albom’s radio show and a Channel Four TV segment. “The film centers on an inherent part of human nature,” Roche said. “People have an innate desire to preserve memory.”
‘How It Goes’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
issue plaguing our campus, not only between black and white but also for North Americans against any international student,” said Grobis. The performance aims to raise eyebrows, cause controversy and get people thinking about racism and social biases. “We need to have a deeper conversation about why we have these feelings and why people don’t talk about them,” Grobis said. Haleigh Ristovski, a freshman basketball player and business major, is curious about the play. “I think those who feel affected by their race on campus would feel better that their voices are being heard,” Ristovski said. “But it also might offend them, so we have to be careful with that as well.” Ristovski said that performing thought-provoking plays is important for the student body. “I think those plays would be important for the community to see a different point of view,” Ristovski said. “I think it is good to perform those kinds of plays.” For the first time ever, the company will be offering an open conversation after every show to see how the audience is affected by the play. “This Is How It Goes” will be performed at Marygrove College on Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 24. The cost of admittance is $5 for UDM students with their IDs. “We’re doing a show where it is going to hit home for a lot of people,” Grobis said, “and possibly cross the lines for others.”
WORKING TO MAKE
A DIFFERENCE Engineering, science students show off their findings, inventions at first research symposium BY JOSEPH MACLEAN VN STAFF WRITER
The College of Engineering and Science held its first undergraduate and graduate research symposium Friday, highlighting the work and efforts of students in research and design projects. Dr. Mary Bee, an anatomy professor in the biology department, served as co-chair for the symposium. With the help of her colleague Dr. Klaus Friedrich, an assistant professor in the chemistry and biochemistry department, Bee spent the past two months tirelessly preparing for the event. “This effort has been enormous, but it’s been well worth it,” Bee said. “Experiencing the passion and the energy in this room as our students and faculty present their research and share it with the community, our visiting high school students and our alumni is special.” Over 60 posters filled the engineering high bay. The posters broke down years of research. Projects ranged from the “Soup Spoon,” an innovative eating utensil that assists individuals who struggle with tremors and fine motor skills, to “Morphology of the Semisplinalis Capitis Muscle in the Neck,” which found inconsistencies in the appearance of semisplinalis capitis muscle in their textbook compared to the appearance of the muscles in the eight cadavers they had researched. The presentation portion of the symposium appeared similar to the layout of a science fair. Students stood in front of their posters and explained their projects and research to anyone who was curious. High school students visiting the event as a field trip were given some privileges as judges. The popular vote for best project relied on their
Students competed for recognition.
discretion. Students voted with monopoly-type money. If a project impressed them, the high school students would hand over a few bucks to show their support. Wesley Steen and Patrick Pawlowski, the graduate students who worked on the Soup Spoon, won the popular vote. The two came up with the idea after they were assigned their mechanical engineering senior-design project. The project called for students to work with with patients at a local hospital and figure out devices that could enhance their everyday life. Steen’s patient, Delbert, had suffered severe burns, a condition that caused him to shake uncontrollably. Delbert told Steen all he wanted was to eat soup again. Inspired by Delbert, Steen and Pawlowski got to work.
VN PHOTOS BY JOSEPH MACLEAN
“The Soup Spoon works a lot like a turkey baster,” Steen said. When you’re eating a liquid-based food, you would squeeze the soft, rubber part on the bottom and that will suck up the liquid portion of the food into the spoons handle and keep the solid portion in the spoon’s head. Once the person lifts the spoon up to their mouth they can release the liquid from the handle by letting go of the soft, rubber bottom.” In the science realm of the symposium, Emily Albrecht and Negar Mehradi placed first. What they found has the potential to change the way anatomy books represent the muscles of the neck and possibly the way people treat neck injuries. “We still have another seven cadavers to research this year, but the goal is to gather enough evidence to change the way the semisplinalis capitis muscle is illustrated in anatomy textbooks,” Albrecht said. “I don’t want to say lazy, but the current picture lacks detail. “We’re not paying attention to the actual details of the muscle. So, you know the different patterns of tendons, patterns of muscles could affect the way it (the neck) moves, how we treat it compared to the current illustration.” The findings and breakthroughs of students like Steen and Albrecht are affecting more people than they originally imagined. Students from Bishop Foley and Bradford Academy were among those who made the trip to UDM to the symposium. Garrett Schilling, a student from Bishop Foley, felt motivated after seeing what the students had accomplished. “I’m taking a mechanical engineering course,” he said. “We have been doing some projects that involve paper airplanes. Coming here and seeing the potential of what I could do is exciting. It’s exciting.”
Lacrosse teammates take salsa into class BY TOMMY ZIMMER VN NEWS EDITOR
Jaclyn Snyder and Miklain Huntsman are teammates on UDM’s lacrosse team. Huntsman and her siblings were signed up for cotillion and ballroom-dancing classes when they were young, and all grew up learning to teach the class. Snyder was drawn in, she said, by her friend’s interest and her ability to teach the class. “My interest in it is that it was a fun way to incorporate learning about culture in my Spanish classroom,” Snyder said. The lessons developed because Huntsman taught Snyder. There was no class or club to help them. “Getting my fellow students involved was easy because once we learned how to dance, we brought it to class, and had everyone try it out,” Snyder said.
VN PHOTO BY TOMMY ZIMMER
Students practice the salsa.
According to Huntsman, the process began where she stood in front of the class with her back turned to them, she told the boys to follow her feet and once they had it, she would give the same instruction to the guys.
She said after that, everyone would get paired up, and do the basics together while then taking it to the next level with turns. Huntsman and Snyder proposed this idea to Spanish Prof. Daniel O’Dunne as an opportunity for them to gain extra credit, and he was all for it. O’Dunne has his own custom style of teaching practical Spanish along with grammar. “Students learn how to order food, rent a car, check into a hotel, handle themselves in social situations, etc.” O’Dunne said. This salsa dancing fit right into his curriculum, and he said he was preparing to line up dance instructors when the idea was brought to his attention. “The ladies came to my Spanish 1100 and Spanish 1110 classes, popped in a CD with some Caribbean music and went to work,” O’Dunne said.
He said they showed them some basic moves as well as some spins and turns. Snyder and Huntsman were well received, and O’Dunne thinks he will have the salsa dancing back in the classroom soon. Though he does not salsa himself, O’Dunne likes dancing to country music and Mexican nortena music. While he is not sure about it becoming a club at UDM, he said, he thinks it is a good idea, and there are plenty of places to dance through Salsa Detroit. Huntsman said after the initial tutorial, O’Dunne wanted to have a salsa dancing day for all to learn something about the culture. Snyder originally had not thought much about bringing this to campus but she would be interested in bringing a possible dancing club to campus that could include salsa dancing as well as other kinds.
Non-traditional students juggle kids, jobs, school
NOV. 6, 2013
BY DERRICK JONES VN SPECIAL WRITER
Echosmith hides in the shadows with new album BY PAIGE ZMUDCZYNSKI VN STAFF WRITER
If this were 2007, Echosmith’s “Talking Dreams” would be flying off the charts and giving Hayley Williams and the Paramore crew a run for their money. Sadly, the year is 2013, and people want to hear and rag about “Blurred Lines” more than they want to listen to music that sounds more lullaby than number-one hit. Echosmith and their album “Talking Dreams” should be something big. The family quartet have two largename producers in their field: Mike Elizondo, who has worked with the likes of Maroon 5 and Tegan & Sara, and Rob Cavallo, best known for his work with Green Day and My Chemical Romance. Their first single was even used in the 2012 Summer Olympics promotions and they toured on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour. Something falls just a bit short of amazing on this album, though. The biggest bone to pick with the band is what they consider them-
selves. When being imported onto a music player, the genre is listed as “punk.” If this is what punk is considered, Joey Ramone would be spinning in his grave. Punk, in general, does not include light guitars and girls crooning love songs. The song “Talking Dreams” is the closest they come to punk, with their riffing guitars and fast-tempo drums. Echosmith needs to hold a family meeting and discuss what they really are presenting: alternative pop or punk music. This is not to say that the album “Talking Dreams” should be dismissed. In fact, it shouldn’t be dismissed at all. If it were to come on the radio, nobody should touch that dial. This album can appeal to the masses, but two groups that would benefit from “Talking Dreams” are college students and high school teenagers. This album should be handed out at the start of every college year to help students across the country study for those pre-calculus and organic chemistry exams.
The instruments and vocals flow in “Ran Off Into the Night” and “Let’s Love” smoothly enough to ignore, but strong enough 0to keep your interest piqued. Then we have high school students, who are notorious for always trying to fit in. Echosmith has the perfect song for that: “Cool Kids.” With lyrics such as “Yeah, they’re invincible/And she’s just in the background” and “I wish that I could be like the cool kids/Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in,” the song speaks personally to anyone who is not a football player or cheerleader. Echosmith can and will be something. The problem is that “something” is either going to be something big or something that just fades away. They sound too much like the present, similar to Of Monsters and Men, while sounding too much like the past, per say Paramore circa “Riot!” They have only just begun, so what they have accomplished deserves a tip of the hat. Let’s just see how far they go. Grade: B-
At age 45, Vee Stokes defies the stereotype of a typical undergrad as someone 18 to 22 years old and recently out of high school. Stokes is a single mother of two who recently returned to college after discovering you can’t get far without at least a bachelor’s degree. “I was just getting by with only having my high school diploma,” she said. “I wanted my kids to use me as an example and reason why they should go to college.” She has children who are 14 and 16. Look around your classroom. Odds are you will see other non-traditional students who represent a range of ages and life experiences. Among them are senior Sarah Cotten, a 28-year-old psychology major who has nothing but graduation on her mind. “I think I’m the most ready to graduate,” said Cotten. After finishing high school she jumped right into the college life, attending Oakland University. But after two long years there, she decided to drop out and live her life. “I just needed a break,” Cotten said. Cotten ended up working full time at Chrysler where she met her boyfriend. But plant life just wasn’t for her, she said. She returned only last year, completing her junior year with a strong grade average. She credits her “awesome” boyfriend with being her biggest motivator. “My boyfriend really wants to settle down and begin a family,” said Cotten, who has more than one reason to be excited for graduation. “Not only will I be receiving my long sought-after degree, but my boyfriend also promised a special ‘engagement’ after the ceremony.” Only one semester stands in her way. For Stephen Vicks, being busy is a way of life. He is 30 and works full-time as an out-of-home hair dresser while being a full-time business management student. “I cut hair almost every day and I’m enrolled in five courses,” said Vicks. After graduating from high school, Vicks went to cosmetology school. “I knew what I wanted to do,” he said. He finished with plans of going to college and obtaining his degree in business. “But when life hits you, it hits you hard,” he said. Vicks, whose mother had taken ill, had medical bills to the roof. To help consolidate some of them, he began working at a local salon full time. “I really enjoyed my salon experience, but through working there I found out that I would love to manage and own my own salon,” he said. After four years of salon work, Vicks resigned and returned to college. He now has only two semesters until he graduates. “My mom really got me determined to do better with my life and start my own business,” Vicks said. Juggling major personal responsibilities with school work is a given for many non-traditional students. “I wake up at five in the morning everyday to begin my busy day and get my kids off to school,” said Vee Stokes, a junior accounting student. God and her children are her biggest motivators, she said. “My 16-year-old has been on campus with me a lot,” Stokes noted. “She even says that UDM is in her top three colleges to attend.”
For many Nicaraguan children, education is main hope for better life, visiting Jesuit says
BY JACK WALSWORTH VN STAFF WRITER
Eighty-year-old Fr. Fernando Cardinal, S.J., spoke about his work with the Fe y Alegria organization and its mission providing a safe place for young children to attend school in Nicaragua in an Oct. 30 visit to UDM. The idea behind Fe y Alegria is to give a future by way of education to young people in the poorest sections of society. The organization began 59 years ago in Venezuela and has since reached 19 other countries, where over 1.3 million people have gone through the program. All over the world, the men in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) have long been known for standing up for what they believe is right and for valuing education.
So when an opportunity arose for the university to host a legendary Jesuit, like Cardinal, the decision was an easy one. Fr. John Staudenmaier, S.J., teamed up with Chris Pacini, dean of the College of Health Professions, to make it happen. With the help of his translator (Fr. Marco Gomez, S.J.), Cardinal offered his straightforward perspective on education in a country like Nicaragua. “This current situation in Nicaragua will never overcome poverty until the government decides to invest in education,” said Cardinal through Gomez. “In the meantime, we’ll be working in the poorest sectors of the population looking for a future for them.” Through Fe y Alegria, students are educated and trained for life of employment, something that is
necessary in Nicaragua. Cardinal said that aside from Fe y Alegria, children in Nicaragua have two alternatives: they can migrate to Costa Rica or the United States for a better life or partake in delinquencies like drug trafficking. Neither is good for the child or their native country, he said. That’s not to say that the Nicaraguan government is against Fe y Alegria. It actually pay the teachers’ salaries, about $250 per month. However, everything else from the students’ books to computers to the buildings’ electricity and water is not funded by the government and is now mainly financed through donations. This wasn’t always the case, according to Staudenmaier. “Their principal source of fund-
ing had been the government of Spain,” he said. But “Spain had to stop supporting Fe y Alegria because of their huge financial turmoil. So they’re here raising money to keep the school going.” Spain’s cuts have been a strong blow to the mission. “But we have not sat down and cried,” said Cardinal. Every year, Fe y Alegria sees hundreds of students graduate from high school, and while it may seem like a small number, to Cardinal and Gomez it’s a sign of hope for their program. “I’m enthusiastic about my job,” said Cardinal. “I keep going. I don’t give up. “I love the work that I do and I will keep working because there are thousands of children and young men and women who need us.”
President CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
though he wasn’t specific as to what changes he thought were necessary. “If I don’t feel that I can make a difference with the current conditions, then (my return) is questionable,” he said. In last winter’s election, Soviak – visible on campus for the wool suits he used to wear daily (he has since abandoned them for track suits) – campaigned for a near-total rewrite of the SGA constitution. He wanted to add positions and change the duties of many elected officials. The SGA met Tuesday in what was its third week since Soviak resigned. Peters said the executive board, which consists of eight members, is filling the presidential gap and coordinating activities like homecoming and Hunger/Homeless Week. “It’s a rebuilding year,” Peters said. “We have a temporary plan for the rest of the semester.” Peters said a new president could be elected during winter semester.
Health center seeing uptick, gives tips for better health
North Asia offers great promise, expert says PAGE 6
NOV. 6, 2013
BY ANNIE MENDOZA VN STAFF WRITER
The United States’ relationship with northeast Asia does not begin and end with North Korea, an expert on the region told a UDM audience last week. “Most of you know northeast Asia as poised more for international conflict than international peace,” Dr. Suk Kim said. He noted that although North Korea remains isolated and resistant to the world, the rest of northeast Asia is not. China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. all have high exports and trade with one other, making them more mutually dependent than most people think. “Current patterns in northeast Asia are complementary and can be transformed into a drive for regional competition,” Kim said. Kim is editor of North Korean Review, director of the Institute for North Korean Studies and author or coauthor of 14 finance textbooks and 60 referred journal publications. Students, guests and staff members gathered in the Commerce and Finance Building Oct. 29 as Dean Joseph Eisenhauer introduced Kim, a veteran international business researcher and UDM staff member. “When dealing with U.S. and Asian relations, economics and finance are as important as politics and foreign relations,” Kim said. Kim spoke largely about efforts to grow northeast Asia and some of the issues that stand in the way, beginning with North Korea. As China, Japan and South Korea compete for oil and natural gas from Russia, North Korea remains uncooperative, Kim said. The three countries have all attempted to contract for an oil pipeline with Russia, but only China has been able to reach an agreement. Although China is the main contractor with Russia, both South Korea and Japan would use the pipeline. But North Korea stands in the pathway of easy construction of the pipeline. Without North Korea’s cooperation, cost and competition will be high within northeast Asia. Among those attending Kim’s talk was Fr. Gerald Cavanagh, SJ, a professor of management and chair of business ethics. Cavanagh said he was unaware of the shared interests between China, Japan and South Korea. “The common interests of the countries in that area is incredible,” Cavanagh said. “I now have a better understanding of the situation between North Korea and the rest of northeast Asia.” Leann Kim, a graduate student in the supply-chain management program, was unaware of the similarities in trade between the U.S. and China. “It’s interesting how hard they are trying to open up to not only the world but to each other in northeast Asia,” she said. Though Dr. Kim focused largely on the interaction between northeast Asian countries, he also addressed the importance of U.S. relations with those countries. It is predicted that in 10 years China will catch up to the U.S. in total gross domestic product, making for stronger competition. As China and the U.S. become closer competitors, they will develop similar economies and depend on each other to move forward, Kim said. “Both countries need each other’s help for a variety of political, economic and international relations issues,” Kim said.
BY JACK WALSWORTH VN STAFF WRITER
VN PHOTO BY KAMARA FANT
Student loans: the next financial mess? Economists debate impact of non-payment
BY TOMMY ZIMMER VN NEWS EDITOR
With the Great Recession mostly behind us, a possible new threat to the United States financial system may be taking shape on the horizon: student loans. While there are options available to those struggling to pay off studentloan debt (the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the incomebased Pay As You Go are two), some fear that the threat of massive non-repayment is real and could hurt the economy. Experts are debating whether or not non-repayment might lead to a similar sort of economic impact as the housing crisis. With interest rates remaining at low levels, some fear a return to looser lending practices. Economics Prof. Joseph Weglarz believes it is symptomatic of a larger issue in financial markets. “As interest rates continue to remain at historically low levels, a return of risky pre-crisis lending practices by major corporations and the banking system may have the potential to fuel another financial meltdown,” Weglarz said. Marketing Prof. Michael Bernacchi thinks that’s an interesting proposition but sees major differences between a diploma and a house. “I do not think there is any doubt this is a big problem,” Bernacchi said. In his view, the major problem is dealing with monies given out to people who do not need them. He said restrictions on
“I do not think there is any doubt this is a big problem.”
PROF. MIKE BERNACCHI
qualifying for a loan are not as steep as they should. Bernacchi said we have been through the last half of the Great Recession and a shutdown but the student loan issue could damage a sector of the economy causing difficulty. As a result, he questions the legacy his generation is leaving for the next. “We are supposed to have education, and if you cannot get one, it could damage the workforce considerably,” Bernacchi said. Over the long term, the nation needs a learned workforce to stay competitive, he said. “We seem to be losing status and gravitas; we are not even a top ten country in education compared to others,” Bernacchi said. Michael DiGiovanni, professor of economics and executive in residence, said that despite their debt upon graduation, students will have a diploma that can not be foreclosed upon. “If they do not repay their debt, their credit rating can be hurt but they will still own an asset that has value and ultimately can be used to earn a living to help alleviate any debt problem, gradually improving their credit rating,” he said. DiGiovanni said the difference between this and
the housing crisis is that people who could not pay their mortgages lost their homes, which in most cases was the most important asset they owned. “If all students suddenly banned together and decided to not repay their debt, the federal government would have the ability to ‘bail them out’ by raising taxes or increasing the debt ceiling,” DiGiovanni said. He said officials would have no other choice if they did not want to be booted out of office. DiGiovanni said that unlike in the collapse of the housing bubble, the banking system would be protected and not experience a crisis such as the one that triggered the Great Recession. Economics Prof. Bruce Brorby does not believe any sort of financial meltdown will occur. “Part of the problem that arose when housing prices began to decline was the impact on mortgage-backed securities, which were held by many investors and many financial institutions,” Brorby said. He said they were held by many investors and many financial institutions, which spread the problem far beyond the real estate and mortgageloan market. To the best of his knowledge, there are no such financial derivatives based upon student loans so any increase in defaults will be limited to the institutions making the loans, he said. And because they are insured by the government, many lenders would not lose out if defaults rise, he said.
You can feel it in the air and see it in the trees. The season has changed in Detroit. Gone are the days of shorts and t-shirts. They have been traded in for pants and jackets. Fall is in full swing and with the change comes an increased probability of getting sick.And to quote viral video star Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” – especially the busy students of UDM. Annamaria Silveri directs the Wellness Center in West Quad, which has been busy treating students for a variety of illnesses. Some of the most frequent trips to the center have been caused by the common cold, flu and strep throat. Want to keep yourself out of the center? Silveri described several easy steps students can take to minimize their chances of getting sick. “Exercising, eating well balanced meals and making sure that you’re well hydrated are all helpful,” said Silveri. “It’s also good practice in the colder months to take 500mg of vitamin C everyday.” Silveri also said that students should get out in the sun and have their levels, such as vitamin D, checked. But the simplest thing of all? Wash your hands. “It’s a big deterrent in not spreading germs and diseases,” she said. Abby Aguinaga, a nursing student who also works at DMC Harper, echoed some of the same points. “Hand washing is huge,” said Aguinaga. “They really stress that at the hospital, along with sneezing and coughing into your sleeve and not on the people around you.” Silveri also mentioned that students should stay away from touching other people and sharing drinks, as it’s another way to stop spreading diseases around. While some of these tips sound basic, many students tend to skip them. “A lot of students have a difficult time creating a balance,” said Silveri. “With that comes issues of self-care. I think sometimes students are caught up in the distractions and excitement on campus and overlook the need to take care of themselves.”
Students walk Livernois to battle breast cancer BY KAMARA FANT VN STAFF WRITER
The morning was cold and windy, but it didn’t stop people from making the journey for their cause. The Praise Fest Cancer Walk along Livernois Avenue aimed to raise awareness of breast cancer and funds to fight the disease. Stores along Livernois participated in the Oct. 26 event, with those active in the event having pink ribbons in their windows and posters on their walls. Some stores, such as Regal Café, offered coffee and baked goods for donations. Walkers checked in at 1917 American Bistro at 8 a.m., followed by power walkers 15 minutes later. The route tooks participants from New Prospect parking lot on Pembroke and Livernois down to Seven Mile Road, with water stations along the route. It was decided that the route should be extended. “Please take shirts, please take literature, please get involved with Komen Detroit,” urged Katrina Studvent, a survivor of breast cancer. She gave large wide smiles to everyone she met and encouraged participation. Once the walk was over, participants crowded together at the bistro. With fewer than 30 participants, organizers were disappointed with turnout for the first annual walk but appreciate the spirit of those who participated. “It was nice to be a part of the first walk,” said Maiya Dalton, a student at UDM who participated. “Next year I just know there will be a lot more people participating.” Studvent spoke to a group of women, and let them know a bit of her history with cancer. She said you need not have a family history of cancer to get it. “I didn’t have the genes,” she said. A meeting of younger women, called the Young Survival Coalition, will be held Nov. 22 at 1917 American Bistro to raise awareness and discuss preventative measures.
NOV. 6, 2013
THE VARSITY NEWS
THE ROAD BACK TO CAMPUS
After brilliant Titan careers, some ex-athletes find their niche as UDM head coaches
BY JACK WALSWORTH VN STAFF WRITER
Not many Titans envision a future in athletics at their alma mater. Yet, for a select few, one of the best ways to stay connected with the school that they shed blood, sweat and tears for is to coach. Guy Murray, Pete Necajevs and Autumn Rademacher are three of those select few. When Murray, now director of track and field and cross country, was a student-athlete he didn’t have the same privileges as today’s UDM athletes. He didn’t have a full-time coach and the facilities back then were night-and-day different from the current ones. A 1989 graduate of University of Detroit, Murray had a decorated career both on and off the track for the Titans. He was a fouryear letter winner and also graduated magna cum laude with a degree in computer science. Murray went to grad school to study sports administration at nearby Wayne State University. The proximity allowed him to hang around with the UD team. “I wanted to stay involved,” said Murray, a native of Niles, Mich. “I ran with the team and helped out with the girls’ team side of things.” Murray lost out on a job offer from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which ultimately led to his becoming a member of the full time coaching staff in 1993. In the years following, Murray has coached two Titans to qualify for the NCAA national championships and his teams have won several Horizon League titles, achievements that he holds near and dear. “We’ve had some pretty great athletes over the years who have set great records,” said Murray. “We’ve built tradition and a there’s a base to keep building. I hope that this era of student-athletes continues.” Autumn Rademacher, head coach of the women’s basketball team, never really thought of coaching at UDM when she graduated in 1997 with a degree in criminal justice. But after being cut from the Cleveland Rockers, a WNBA team, she realized that basketball was a big part of who she was and she still needed it in her life. So when a job opened on Western Michigan University’s staff, she took it, ultimately working her way back to UDM. Rademacher’s teams have had success both on and off the court, whether from beating ranked teams like the University of Georgia and UW-Green Bay to walking across the stage at graduation.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF UDM SPORTS INFO
Guy Murray: “I wanted to stay involved.”
Pete Necajevs, also a graduate of UDM, is in his second full year coaching women’s tennis. He graduated with a degree in international business and recently completed his MBA at UDM. A native of Riga, Latvia, Necajevs made a journey that was far from ordinary, becoming one of the Horizon League’s most dominating players and then head coach. Necajevs originally started his student-athlete career playing tennis at Mississippi State University but it didn’t take him long to realize that he wanted to transfer. He knew he didn’t want to stay in the south. He wanted to go to a big city, preferably a private school. “I got a good recommendation from a friend, who was also a
tennis player, about UDM,” said Necajevs. “UDM focuses more on academics. It offers more direct contact with professors, which was crucial during my junior and senior years.” Necajevs described his transition to living in Detroit as an easy one. “Being from Europe, Detroit is known for the Red Wings, sports and cars,” said Necajevs. “There’s no bad stereotype like there is in the U.S. People in Detroit are more open-minded and multicultural.” Much like Murray and Rademacher, Necajevs saw coaching as a way to stay connected with the sport he likes. So after completing his undergrad program, he started his UDM coaching career by being a graduate assistant on the women’s tennis team. It wasn’t until the head coach resigned mid-season, on March 24, 2011, that Necajevs took over, something that he wasn’t planning but still enjoys. In the few short years since his college playing days ended, Necajevs has already seen improvement in the program, mainly because of a new agreement with nearby Franklin Athletic Club. “Being able to let the athletes use Franklin is a huge strength,” said Necajevs. “It’s the best tennis facility in Michigan.” Necajevs also wants to continue to bring more attention to the program, something that UDM President Garibaldi has already shown interest in. “President Garibaldi has been to early-morning practices,” said Necajevs. “I mean, Who do you expect to see on a Saturday morning? He shows a lot of care towards the athletes.” When Necajevs looks back at his undergrad career, he describes it as lucky but he does have some unfinished business: win the Horizon League title. It’s a high bar but one Necajevs thinks is attainable. “It’s why I’m here as a coach,” said Necajevs. “I’m all about it.” Coaching isn’t the only route for former UDM players. Just ask Steve Corder, assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance. Corder, who graduated in 1998 with a double major in communications and English, has seen it all as a soccer player, assistant coach and now a member of the athletic staff. After graduating, Corder went to law school but realized that a career in law wasn’t for him. He also worked for a marketing company before finally returning to UDM as a graduate assistant for the men’s soccer team. In his current role, Corder has been able to relate to current UDM student-athletes, mainly because of the experiences he had as a student-athlete. “I want to know that I’ve made a difference with these 18- to 22-year-old individuals,” said Corder. “It’s a prime time in their lives.”
Amid changing face of team, two seniors remain crucial
BY VITO CHIRCO VN STAFF WRITER
While turnover is aplenty for Detroit women’s basketball, two names have remained the same for the last four years: those of seniors Megan Hatter and Senee Shearer. Both Hatter and Shearer are ready and excited to display how staying at Detroit for all four years has benefited them. “Senee and I have been here with Coach Rad for four years, so we know what to expect from Rad,” Hatter said. “It’s my time and Senee’s time to shine, and we’re ready to prove that we’re more than capable of doing so.” Shearer, a guard out of Detroit, was last season’s team leader in 3-point field goals, as well as in 3-point field-goal percentage, despite playing in only 20 games. Shearer battled back from a torn ACL that she suffered during the 2012 Horizon League championship game at Green Bay. “It was a hard comeback and
scorer and 2012 Horiconstant struggle,” zon League first Shearer said. “I went teamer Shareta Brown. to rehab every day, Brown transferred and on some days, I to Wayne State at the just didn’t want to go end of the last acain and be there.” demic term. Shearer was given Shearer plans to relclearance at the end ish the new up-tempo of December to restyle as a result of havsume playing. ing played in the same “It took me the offense while at Dewhole entire season to troit Pershing. get back into game Shearer says it will shape, and I still was- Shearer led last year’s team in 3-point shots. be a slight transition n’t in perfect shape by She was in the gym over the for her, though, because she the end of the season,” Shearer summer working on perfecting played more half-court offense said. in her last two years due to the Shearer knew the injury was her 3-point shot. Now pain free, she plans on presence of the imposing bad as soon as it happened. “I felt it pop, and I think I driving to the basket much more Brown. “The offense is going to be was more in shock than any- frequently in order to draw conthing else,” Shearer said. “It tact and get to the free-throw more spread out now as it’s no longer simply one person domdidn’t really hurt as much as line. When not launching from inating the basketball and scoryou think it would.” Going into her senior season long-distance or from the free- ing all the time in the fully recovered, she expects to throw line, Shearer plans on half-court,” Shearer said. pushing the ball up the floor as Fellow Titan Hatter shares be a more vocal leader. “I talk with the freshmen a part of Detroit’s new fast-paced the sentiment. From Howell, Mich., Hatter lot, and joke around with them offense. The Titans are adopting this came into her Titan career alin order to break the ice and to make them more comfortable new style of offense due to the ready having had her sister loss of last season’s leading Heather play at Detroit for head around me,” Shearer said.
coach Autumn Rademacher. “While it didn’t have a big impact on my decision to play here, it definitely had an influence on me as I was around my sister and her teammates often,” Hatter said. “They even came to my house one weekend.” While Hatter has shown a knack for doing all the “little things” in the past, she plans to take on a larger offensive role this season. According to Hatter, her offensive game spans from 3point shooting to working in the low post. Using these skills, Hatter hopes to assist the Titans in their attempt to build off their 2012 Women’s Basketball Invitational championship. “I’m expecting us to do amazing things this year with our speed,” Hatter said. “While we may not be the biggest people in the world, it’s the amount of fight in the dog and not how big the dogs are.” Like Shearer, she envisions the fast-pace offense benefiting the Titans.
The underclassmen on the team are fitting in with the new style of offense, she said. “Our chemistry, with having so many people new on and off the court, is right where it should be,” Hatter said. According to Rademacher, Hatter will start at center, where her quickness will challenge opponents. “I’m experienced and ready for the challenge of receiving more minutes and of having more expectations put on my shoulders,” Hatter said. Despite being one of only two seniors, Hatter is confident that there will be enough experience on the floor to guide the young players. Rademacher agrees. She said Hatter and Shearer have done a good job leading the underclassmen. “I told them they have to bring the leadership consistently and every single day of the week,” Rademacher said. “And they’ve responded by setting the stage superbly for the freshmen and the younger players so far.”
THE VARSITY NEWS
OUT WITH A FLASH
Nelkie ends UDM cross country career by leading Titans to title
BY CURTIS PULLIAM VN CO-EDITOR
Consistency is something senior Martin Nelkie has always strived for. “In workouts, I am usually not the first one done,” said Nelkie. “I’m usually closer to the middle of the pack in a workout. But I’m not a workout guy, I’m a race guy.” Nelkie certainly picked a great time to remain consistent. He took third in the 2013 Horizon League Championship Saturday, finishing at 25:54 to help lead UDM to its first-ever men’s cross country Horizon title. “The course was very wet and muddy for a meet,” said Nelkie. “As a team, we put those conditions out of mind and focused on doing our best.” Nelkie was not the only Titan to finish in the top five. Junior Ryan Hofsess finished right behind Nelkie in fourth with a time of 26:03. “He is a very good runner,” said Nelkie of Hofsess. “He put in a lot of effort over the summer and it’s paying off.” The friendly competition between Nelkie and Hofsess has been taking place all year and is something that Nelkie saw as a positive for him. “I heard he was putting a lot of work in this summer,” Nelkie said. “Hearing that motivated me to push myself and put in more work myself.” Nelkie is no stranger to putting in time and miles. During his childhood, he worked on his family’s farm in West Branch, a small town about three hours north of Detroit. “Living up there, I spent my earlier days working on the farm. We would put up hay during the summer and in the winter I would help around doing random stuff,” said Nelkie. The youngest of four children, he got started in running at age 10 because of his older sister. “My sister would train for running in high school and she would run with the dogs,” said Nelkie. “I would actually go hop on my bike and bike around with her.” He began competing in middle school and continued through high school.
Louisa Coppola loves to have fun – though her definition of fun differs from that of most college students. “I like to read,” said Coppola, a senior runner on the women’s cross country team. “A couple of weekends ago, I went to a book sale. It was so great. It was a giant room full of books and they were like a quarter or 50 cents each. It was amazing. I just read them and it makes me happy.” When the English literature major is not happily entertaining herself with a good book, Coppola is busy running for the Titans. And running well. “Louisa is very talented,” said coach Guy Murray. “Since she’s been here we discovered that her talent went a little more towards the 5K than some of the shorter distances. We boosted her mileage up. There were growing pains early and a little bit of an injury last year but she has overcome that.” Coppola fought through tendonitis at the beginning of last season and
UDM runners deserve dose of attention
All they do is run. Yes, for most sport fans cross country is not the most exciting sport to watch. After all, it is just people running. However, as with any sport, it means a lot to the team and coaches and those who know both. But this year’s UDM teams have actually had solid performances in all of their races, including third, second and first place finishes. So that’s why I’m not surprised that the men’s cross country pulled out the Horizon League Championship as a team on Saturday. Led by senior Martin Nelkie and junior Ryan Hofsess, the team came out of the meet with a 6-point victory over the host team, Youngstown State. Every day since close to the middle of August to about this time, you see the athletes running outside, usually down Livernois or Fairfield. In the middle of a city, where running may not be the safest activity, they run. Cross country is a sport that gets little media attention. I, for one, am guilty of not giving runners as much attention as they probably deserve. So I hope they accept my apology. In what is known as an individual sport, to win a championship as a team is not an easy accomplishment. You have to have your best guys run a great race, while at the same time having the rest of the team do better than they have done before. The Titans realized that goal on Saturday. In addition to Nelkie and Hofsess finishing third and fourth overall, respectively, junior George Holman finished seventh with a time of 26:14, a career low for him. But the individual success did not stop there. Sophomore Austin Wigent finished eighth overall, while fellow sophomore Derek Gielarowski placed 11th. In all, the Titans had five guys who earned all-league honors and their coach, Guy Murray, took the Horizon League Coach of the Year award, the first time in his career to earn the honor. This is his 21st season and he knows exactly how hard it is to win a championship. “I’m pretty excited because in our sport you have to piece together individuals who all have to have a good day on the same day,” said Murray after the race on Saturday. He should be excited. He understands what happened on Saturday. Titan history took place. The team put together a tremendous effort to achieve its goal. The hard work and sacrifice paid off in the shape of a team championship. But I’m pretty sure the moment brought something else to them: a feeling of triumph and success that will last a lifetime. The feeling is something that can be achieved in not only sports, but in life. It is always something worth running for.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF UDM SPORTS INFO
Senior Martin Nelkie credited teammate Ryan Hofsess for contributing to his motivation. But it has not come easy for him. “After getting my butt handed to me my freshman year of high school, I decided I was going to some training over the summer,” said Nelkie. “I put in 1,000-mile summers.” So with all that running and a 10th place finish in his senior year at the Michigan state meet, Nelkie found himself with an opportunity to run for the Titans. And he has not disappointed. “Marty is a strength-mileage kind of guy,” said Titan coach Guy Murray. “As he gets a little older and more accustomed to workouts that just helps him improve.” As a freshman, he was a varsity scorer in all of the races he participated in.
In 2011, he shared the team MVP award with Edwin Gay. Last season, he earned MVP honors. And this year, he was only the second winner from UDM to capture the Detroit Titan Invitational. “I was ecstatic,” said Nelkie, “especially because it was the first time in a long time anybody on the UDM team had won that race. I was also extremely happy that we won as a team.” Nelkie, who is racing in what could be his last race ever on Nov. 15, says he will miss his teammates the most. “Honestly, team atmosphere, like the friends and stuff,” said Nelkie. “I’m still hoping to hang with them afterwards.”
Racing over, it’s back to books for Coppola
BY CURTIS PULLIAM VN CO-EDITOR
NOV. 6, 2013
finished strongly, placing fifth at the Horizon League Championship. In addition, Coppola was named team MVP in her first year as a Titan. Many people believed that Coppola had a legit chance of winning the championship this year, but she had a somewhat different goal in mind. “Realistically, I wanted to place fifth or better,” Coppola said. “I also want to drop my time from last year.” Coppola achieved her goal over the past weekend, taking third in the league with a time of 18:14, a four-second drop. “Saturday was my final 5K race of my collegiate career so I didn’t want to have any regrets once I crossed the finish line,” said Coppola. “I was back and forth battling the girl next to me. I had to give that last little push at the end and leave it all on the course in order to capture third.” But finishing third in the championship was not the only impressive thing Coppola accomplished this season. Opening up with a bang, Cop-
pola won both the Golden Grizzly Open and Detroit Titan Invitational. Plus, she never finished worse than 14th in any race this year. Coppola is no stranger to success, having been a two time all-American runner at Macomb Community College before putting on a Titan uniform. Her experience at Macomb was one that she will always remember. “Macomb was so fun,” said Cop-
pola. “I met all my greatest friends that I have now. They really treat you like adults there.” However, Coppola admits she did kind of get spoiled at MCC. “I did get pampered a little bit cause like if you didn’t want to run outside, you didn’t have to,” said Coppola. “Here, you have to run outside. It was a big wake-up call. I don’t like the cold.” The biggest adjustment was the amount of running she did during practice. “I never ran high mileage at Macomb,” said Coppola. “But coming here it was a huge wake-up call. The average here was about eight miles and on the weekends he (Murray) had me running 10 to 11 miles.” With all these miles under her belt, Coppola has big plans. And they do not include running after she is done at UDM. “I want to go to law school,” said Coppola. “I have to take a year off, though, and raise money to pay for law school.” Now that’s something to which your average college student can relate.
Published on Nov 6, 2013